The saga of the doomed luxury condo development at 1 Bloor in Toronto took an interesting turn earlier this month when the project was sold.
Great Gulf Homes announced that it had purchased the land at the corner of Yonge and Bloor Streets from developer Bazis International as part of a court-approved process to keep the project from falling into receivership. Bazis had initially purchased the land for $61 million but had defaulted on its loans before construction could begin.
Despite the insolvency of the developer, those purchasers who braved the cold and lined up outside for days in late 2007 to buy units at 1 Bloor won’t lose a dime of their deposits (reportedly over $70 million). They can thank section 81 of the Condominium Act, 1998, which provides that deposits paid for the purchase of proposed condo units must be held in trust by a trustee or a law firm. Section 82 provides that developers must pay interest on these deposits.
Though their deposits are safe, those who purchased units at 1 Bloor are wondering what kind of condo they are going to get for their money. The fate of the project won’t be known until after the sale to Great Gulf Homes closes in September but the new concept will probably be far less ambitious than the 80-storey, half-billion dollar skyscraper that was originally planned. GMA’s very own Gerry Miller shared his view on the project in this article in last Friday’s Globe and Mail.
Update (Sept 4/09): Kris Scheuer of the Town Crier reports on her blog that 1 Bloor purchasers are now being refunded their deposits.